Rights of women in a live-in relationship

Submitted by asandil on 6/4/2023

Introduction

A LIVE-IN RELATIONSHIP is a situation in which an unmarried couple cohabitates in the same residence as one another during the course of a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage. This kind of arrangement enables a man and a woman to co-exist in their relationship without getting married. In metropolitan Cities, such kind of union has emerged as a viable choice for marriage.

Women however are frequently the party that feels resentment since they are in such a volatile relationship. continue reading to learn more about the rights of women in live-in relationships.

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Women’s rights in a Live-in Relationship

1-Maintenance rights

the Malimath Committee’s recommendations led to the addition of Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in 2003, which modify the definition of “wife” and expand it to include women who were living with their live-in partner. Doing this ensured that all her financial needs would be covered if she was unable to support herself or if the partnership became estranged. The Domestic Violence Act of 2005 also states that women living in a live-in relationship get the same protection against all forms of abuse, just like married women.

2- Right to Property

following an amendment in 2005, the Hindu Succession Act, of 1956 no secures women’s right to ancestral property. No matter her marital status, this gives her the right to inherit self-earned property, such as her kid. Hence, regardless of whether a woman is married or living with someone, she will inherit the right to her parent’s property at birth, but the property she has obtained on her own will be shared in accordance with her will.

3-Children’s Inheritance Rights

The Supreme Court of India (SC) has ruled that a couple who had been cohabiting for a significant amount of time would be deemed and enjoy all of the rights that go along with it. Children born to cohabiting partners would also be treated as legitimate by the law. Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act states that such children are entitled to the self-acquired property of their parents.

Even if their own personal laws do not allow for maintenance, children have the right to do so under CrPC Section 125. The live-in partners still owe it to their children to take care of them even if they are no longer together.

The Supreme Court also ruled that while a child born into a live-in relationship may be permitted to inherit the parent’s property, they are not eligible to make any claims against Hindu Ancestral Coparcenary Property. This decision was made in the case of Bharat Matha and Ors. Vs. R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors.

Rights and Legality of Children born from a live-in relationship

Children born from invalid or voidable marriages are granted legal status in Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and Section 26 of the Special Marriage Act of 1954. Such children are only permitted to inherit their parent’s assets. Since they lack coparcenary rights to the Hindu undivided family’s property, their offspring cannot claim their parent’s ancestral possessions.

In the case of S.P.S. Balasubramanyam v. Suruttayan, kids born to a live-in couple were given legal status (1993). The Supreme Court has held that where a man and a woman have lived together for a significant period of time, they are deemed to be married under Section 114 of The Indian Evidence Act of 1872. Their descendants will be recognized as legitimate and hence be eligible to inherit a portion of the family wealth.

The Supreme Court gave children born from live-in relationships a portion of the property in the 2010 case of Bharatha Matha v. Vijaya Rengenathan. The court ruled that any children born inside a live-in relationship are not always illegal provided it last for a long enough period of time.